BE Test Drive : ZyXEL Personal Cloud Storage (NAS326)

ZyXEL's Personal Cloud Storage (NAS326) device, gives you a centralized repository for data storage and provides data protection

ZyXEL
(Image: ZyXEL)

While not the fanciest or fastest Network-Attached Storage (NAS) device on the market, the ZyXEL Personal Cloud Storage (NAS326) is an affordable storage device for home users.

ZyXEL’s Personal Cloud Storage is a device that you can connect to a router (or switch) and use to share files among devices on your home network and with other users. You can also use ZyXEL’s personal cloud service to remotely access stored data.

This NAS, as with other NAS devices on the market, can serve other functions. It can be used as a multimedia and web server. Twonky and iTunes server are supported.

Specifications

The NAS326 is available online for $130–$150, but it ships without disks. You can install two 2.5” or 3.5” SATA hard drives.

The device holds up to 12 TB of storage (two 6 TB drives) and is configurable with RAID 0 and 1 disk mirroring.

With the NAS326’s hot-swapping feature, if a drive fails it can be replaced with the NAS up and running.

The CPU is a Marvell Armada 380 1.3 GHz and it has 512MB of RAM. Performance in testing with the volume in RAID1 averaged 11 MB/sec—about average for a two-bay home NAS.

Ports include one Gigabit Ethernet (so no Link Aggregation to connection failover capabilities), dual USB 3.0 ports, and a single USB 2.0. A one-touch copy button on the front is to quickly copy data from the NAS to an attached drive.

Setup and User Interface

Setup is simple: Just connect via Ethernet to a router. Then, open a browser to http://NAS326 to access the interface.

The interface is uncluttered. There are several icons on the desktop for managing the NAS and accessing its services. Pre-installed apps let users store and stream multimedia content. ZyXEL’s zCloud app lets you stream content to TVs or set-top boxes.

The ZyXEL Personal Cloud Storage is not the fastest-performing or fanciest NAS on the market and it’s not for businesses. However, it’s affordable and has enough features for the average home user.